Weapons of Mass Deception

?From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new
products in August,? White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told
the New York Times last September. ?Card was explaining,?
say John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton in their new book, Weapons
of Mass Deception
, ?what the Times characterized as a
?meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the
Congress, and the allies of the need to confront the threat from
Saddam Hussein.?? Timing is key in marketing. In their book,
Stauber and Rampton show how it was far from coincidental that the
president asked the United Nations Security Council for the
resolution the White House needed for war with Iraq on the first
anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and
Pentagon.

Many Americans may not be aware that the U.S. government employs
behind-the-scenes public relations firms and propaganda
techniques?from disinformation to lies?to push its political
objectives. Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda
in Bush?s War on Iraq
, due in bookstores July 28, will be the
first book to expose the Bush administration?s sophisticated public
relations campaign promoting the invasion of Iraq in what was
actually termed a ?product launch? by the White House. PR Watch, a
leading watchdog organization on public relations practices, says
that in the book Rampton and Stauber ?take no prisoners as they
reveal?headline by headline, news show by news show, press
conference by press conference?the deliberate, aggressive and
highly successful public relations campaign that sold the Iraqi war
to the American public.?

Not only has the U.S. military been unable to find any weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq, evidence is mounting that the
government trumped up and even forged ?evidence? to justify the
preemptive attack. Given a choice between verifiable information
and politically spun sound bites with a feel-good coating, will
Americans begin to look further than their TVs for the truth? As
Noam Chomsky says of Weapons of Mass Deception, ?Their
work is a major contribution for those who want to take control of
their own future, not be passive subjects of manipulation and
control.?
?Anne Geske

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Weapons of Mass
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